Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The Federal Government and forty-six states have incorporated within their constitutions the common law privilege against self-incrimination. Iowa and New Jersey, the two exceptions, have accepted the privilege, either by incorporation into their common law by judicial interpretation, or by statute. Originally, this universal acceptance was an outgrowth of the thumb-screw and rack days of the star chamber in England, and the protection from physical torture by officers of the law to extract confessions was deemed such a fundamental right' as to warrant constitutional safeguards. However, since its adoption in this country, authorities both in and outside of the legal field have questioned the purpose and policy of retaining the privilege in any form.

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